I am really starting to appreciate small batch jam making. We are just too busy lately for me to be able to devote an entire day to jam making and canning, and honestly, while it is nice to have a large supply of jams and jellies on hand I really don’t need 10 jars of one variety.
I made this Small Batch Blackberry jam pretty quickly and easily the same day I made Blackberry pie and froze blackberries, all before we headed to the beach for the afternoon. In fact, I made the jam the same time I was baking the pie.
I made my jam in a 10-inch stock-pot because it had a large surface area and a relatively small volume of jam, it cooked down much more quickly than a standard jam recipe. It is easier to get the jam to 220° degrees in smaller batches, so you can often skip the addition of pectin. One of my favorite things about small batch jam making is the shorter cook time creates a jam with outstanding color. I mean this blackberry jam had a beautiful glowing color. Yes, past-tense we ate it all already. In hindsight canning this jam was a waste of time, stored in the fridge, this jam will keep approximately 2 weeks, that is if your family doesn’t devour it within a matter of days like mine did 🙂
Eat it on a fresh homemade muffin, and you’ll know why ours disappeared so quickly.
- 4 cups mashed blackberries
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Combine the mashed berries and sugar, cover and let macerate in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours.
- When you're ready to make jam, pour the macerated berries into a medium-sized non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil and let the jam bubble, stirring regularly, until it reduces and develops a syrup-y look.
- Using a candy thermometer, monitor the cooking jams temperature. When it reaches 220 degrees, remove it from the heat. If you don't have a thermometer, use the plate test to test the jam's doneness. To test the jell stage of the jam using plates, put a couple of small plates or saucers into the freezer before you begin to the make the jam. When you're ready to test your set, pull one of the plates out and drop a small dollop of jam onto the center. Let it sit for a minute or two. If the jam is ready, it will develop a thin skin that will wrinkle when gently nudged. If it just runs all over the plate, it needs a few more minutes of cooking.
- When jam has reduced down and is finished cooking, remove from heat and add the lemon juice and zest, stir to incorporate. Ladle into prepared jars, wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, if desired. This jam will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge without processing.
Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pan.
Recipe Source: Mrs. Wages